PUPILS have been stopped from trying out their new outdoor musical instruments because of worries that they would be too loud.

Staff at Manor Field Primary School in Burgess Hill have stopped children playing in the playground.

Kit Messenger, headteacher, said the school may have to explore the expensive option of installing sound barriers before playing them to avoid upsetting neighbours.

The xylophones, drums and chimes were bought with money raised by the parent teachers association and a donation left by former music teacher Enid Harrison in her will.

But a neighbour complained to the school and Mid Sussex District Council.

Mrs Messenger said discussions with the neighbour have been very amicable and they are working together to find a solution.

She said: “The instruments were louder than we expected when we tested them during half-term and we wanted to modify them before we allow the children to play.

“We don’t want to upset people in the area. We had a phone call from a neighbour and we have had discussions because we want to work together.”

Mrs Messenger said she has phoned the instrument’s manufacturers, who said they have not had complaints before.

They have suggested modifications to make them quieter.

Mrs Messenger added: “I have explained the situation to the children so they know why they are taped off.

“The children have not had them before so they are not missing out.”

A Mid Sussex District Council spokesman said they had received one pre-emptive enquiry from a neighbour about the “potential for noise disturbance”.

He added: “Our environmental health officers have spoken with the school and they have advised us that the instruments have not been formally used yet.

“We have met with the resident and the school to provide advice on how to minimise any disturbance.”

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